How to Clean Chalk Off Pool Table Felt

Pool tables are an investment, and maintaining them is crucial to ensuring that they last for years to come. While most people know that the condition of the felt plays a big part in how well the balls roll on a pool table, a lot of people don’t realize that chalk dust can build up on the felt and cause some serious damage over time. 

In this article, we’ll outline how to clean chalk off pool table felt to increase your gaming experience and make the felt more durable.

Can You Remove Chalk Off Pool Table Felt? 

Can you clean chalk off a pool table felt? While chalk dust on the pool table felt isn’t a big issue from a practical viewpoint, it’s annoying and can leave the pool table look old. Thankfully, it’s easy to remove it off the table felt with a little effort. Before trying to remove chalk from your table, be sure that you actually have been using chalk in the first place.

Some players swear by foam cleaners while others use pool table cleaners. The foam cleaners, however, can be pretty harsh on the surface of the felt. This can damage the surface, as can the harsh chemicals found in your standard home cleaning products.

What we’re going to suggest is a gentler method for removing chalk from pool table felt: pool table cleaners. 

What is a Pool Table Cleaner?

Pool table felt is not as easy to clean as most people assume. Most pool table owners assume that a regular household product will get the job done, but it isn’t often the case. If you want to keep your pool table looking its best, then you’ll need to use some specialized cleaners to remove the chalk from the felt.

Pool table cleaner is a specialized cleaning formulation designed to remove chalk particles from the felt without causing damage. After use, you won’t need a brush to remove the residue as the dry-foam cleaner does all the cleaning. Plus, unlike home cleaning products, the pool table cleaner takes a shorter time, is easier to use, and is inexpensive. 


All you have to do is spray it on the felt surface, give it a minute or two, then wipe off the cleaner residue. When done, the cleaner restores the felt condition to a new one, allowing you to enjoy your pool game.  The dry-foam cleaner doesn’t fade the felt either and will enhance its life span in the long run.

Steps to Remove the Chalk

Are you wondering how to clean chalk off the pool table felt using the pool table cleaner? The following is a simple step-by-step guide you can follow to remove chalk and restore the felt’s best condition to suit your gameplay.

  1. Spray the pool table cleaner on the felt’s entire area. It’s recommended to clean the entire felt rather than a small spot with visible chalk because the invisible residues are just as detrimental as the visible ones. 
  2. Wait for about a minute for the cleaner foam to uplift the chalk particles from the felt surface.
  3. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe away the foam. Take caution not to scrub the felt as that can cause damage. 
  4. Give it another one minute for the felt to dry up before starting your game. 

Can You Use a Pool Table Brush?

Billiard Table Brush

Using a pool table brush to remove chalk dust is a common practice among most pool table owners. However, brushing will only spread the chalk dust instead of removing it. Additionally, using a pool table brush poses a greater risk of damaging the felt.

If you cant get the pool table cleaner and opt to you the brush, then follow this simple step to get the chalk off the pool table felt without causing damage.

  1. Start by brushing off the pool table bumper rails. 
  2. Starting at the head, brush the felt straight towards the pool table foot. Avoid circular, to and fro motions, or making any other patterns. 
  3. Sweep the chalk dust carefully onto a piece of paper or cardboard. 
  4. For every straight brushing move, follow with another to ensure the dust is thoroughly removed and the felt left clean.

Some people prefer to leave a pool table brush around, as they’re often used for cleaning up spills, but the majority of owners of pool tables don’t. 

Types of Pool Table Brush To Use

Remember, cleaning the felt using a brush doesn’t involve just any standard brush. The following are the recommended brush types that you can use without damaging the felt. 

Microfiber brush

Microfiber brush is not that popular but can do an excellent job. The bristles are gentle and effective at picking chalk dust than most other types of brush. 

Horsehair brush

You can also get a little more creative by using a horsehair brush. They’re ideal and the most commonly used for removing chalk and other debris off the pool table felt. Horsehair brush is gentle and highly effective if used properly.

Nylon brush 

Nylon brush doesn’t offer a quality feel similar to the horsehair brush, but can also do an excellent job if used as described earlier. 

What NOT to use to try and Clean Chalk Off Pool Table Felt 

If you’re a DIY lover, you’re more likely to get creative with almost anything. But when it comes to cleaning chalk dust off the pool table felt, you might want to put your creativity aside. The following are some of the processes that you should never use on your pool table felt when removing the chalk.

Vacuum cleaner

You may have thought of the idea of using a vacuum cleaner. Is it okay to vacuum clean your pool table felt? Different people have varying opinions on whether vacuum cleaning the felt is detrimental. But the fact remains that vacuum cleaning the felt isn’t the best way of removing chalk, and if you can avoid please do. 

The suction power of a vacuum cleaner damages the felt by sucking up sections to result in an uneven surface.  If you have to vacuum clean, avoid the standard home vacuum cleaners and use the special pool table vacuum cleaners. 

Cleaning with Water 

Water is yet another culprit that can damage the felt to a greater extent. If you have to use water, let it be on a damp towel and clean gently while moving in one direction. 

Home cleaning agents

Home cleaning agents such as detergents and dishwasher soaps should also be avoided as some have corrosive properties that will wear off the felt with time. 

Final Thoughts

Chalk is a big part of any pool player’s life. If you’ve ever been annoyed by chalk dust getting all over your pool table felt, you’re not alone! But when it comes to how to clean chalk off the pool table felt, the methods you use can make a difference between restoring the felt’s original condition and damaging it completely. 

The most recommended method of cleaning chalk off the felt is by using a pool table cleaner. It’s a dry foam cleaning method that uplifts the chalk particles, making it easier to wipe them off. Cleaning the chalk dust does not only leave the pool table felt clean and durable but also enhances your enjoyment of the game of billiards.